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What Should You Work On? (Assuming You Want to Make a Living at It.)

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the "AIM diagram" concept, which suggests that the ideal career path is at the intersection of three overlapping circles: "What I'm good at," "What I love doing," and "What someone will buy." The article also mentions the similar Japanese concept of "ikigai." The article explores the importance of balancing these three factors and how they can shift over time.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The AIM Diagram

1. What are the three overlapping circles in the AIM diagram?

  • The three overlapping circles represent:
    • What I'm good at
    • What I love doing
    • What someone will buy

2. What is the central intersection of the three circles called?

  • The central intersection of the three circles is called "What I should work on," which is the sweet spot where one can be productive, happy, and make a living.

3. What are the key factors needed to be fulfilled in making art or anything else?

  • To be fulfilled, one needs to be skilled at what they do, be interested or even obsessed with it, and have people willing to pay for it, either a few people paying a lot or a lot of people paying a little.

4. How can the AIM diagram shift over time?

  • The AIM diagram can shift and change throughout one's life as they evolve new interests and skills, as tastes change, and as new technologies for production, distribution, and monetization appear. It's important to check every few years if the sweet spot has shifted.

[02] Comparison to Ikigai

1. What is the Japanese concept of Ikigai?

  • Ikigai is a Japanese concept that translates as "purpose in life" or "reason for being." It is a somewhat broader idea than the AIM diagram, sometimes including a fourth field labeled "What the world needs."

2. How does Ikigai compare to the AIM diagram?

  • The author notes that after developing the AIM diagram concept, they discovered the similar Japanese concept of Ikigai, which seems to be a broader idea that sometimes includes a fourth field of "What the world needs."

[03] Limitations of the AIM Diagram

1. What are the limitations of the AIM diagram mentioned in the comments?

  • A commenter suggests that with the rise of AI, the inner circle of the AIM diagram has become "extremely small," and they would not choose art again to make a living, but rather leave it as a hobby.
  • Another commenter suggests that "Available Time" should be factored into the diagram, as a single father with many responsibilities and little free time would have difficulty making a living, even with strong aptitude, interest, and market.
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